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The G7 countries are developing an action plan to combat marine litter. At a workshop in Berlin from 3 to 5 August at the invitation of the BMUB, practical measures are discussed to reduce waste from land- and sea-based sources as well as to remove the existing waste. Today, there are an estimated 100 to 142 million tonnes of waste in our oceans, up to 10 million tonnes are added to this each year. more

On a large green field, natural gas is extracted from the ground by a drilling rig.

The German Cabinet introduced a set of stringent fracking regulations on 1 April. The legislative package contains bans to protect drinking water, health and nature in certain regions and also far-reaching restrictions on fracking in shale, clay, marl and coal seam rocks. In addition, the package contains supplementary, stricter regulations on conventional natural gas and crude oil extraction. more

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has said she wants to maintain the scope for returning water and wastewater management to the municipalities. At the opening of the Wasser Berlin International trade fair, Hendricks stated that the Federal Government will ensure in future too, that tasks of general interest service provision can be carried out by local authorities. more

A bend in the river, meadows and a sun-illuminated tree.

The Federal Environment Ministry welcomes the entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention. Hitherto unwritten principles of international law on good neighbourly conduct between riparian countries of transboundary water bodies will be firmly enshrined in and further developed through the Convention, which entered into force on 17 August 2014. more

A crumpled plastic bottle located on a beach, beside running a crab

At the annual meeting of the OSPAR Convention in Portugal on 27 June, the countries bordering the North-East Atlantic agreed on a regional action plan. The bundle of measures contained in the action plan will ensure that in future considerably less litter enters North East Atlantic and also that some of the litter already in the sea is removed. more

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